2005-06-16 - 3:21 p.m.
IN continuing couples therapy with a new therapist here in NY, both Westley and I first met with the therapist individually so he could try to figure out who we are FIRST before working with us as a couple.
A few great quotes from my session:
FROM the therapist:
"I'm getting conflicting impressions of you. You have a certain affect about you."
and then the kicker "There's something RACY about you."
YES HE USED THAT WORD. If he didn't seem like a decent counselor I think I'd be running the other way at this point.... however I get the impression he just caught onto my natural attractive sexual magnetism (HA HA HA!!!!) so will take that as a compliment....
and he then said "So you have so much energy and not require lots of sleep to keep going?"
HA HA HA!!!!! My friends from college days, CO WORKERS, CLASSMATES et all would be in hysterics at that ! They joke that I slept enough in those early years of my life to prepare for the lack of sleep necessitated by Motherhood ! Its been postulated by Westely that people are really like camels and can get extra sleep to reserve for times to come when they are sleep deprived!
He must have been surprised as I de-bunked all his questions to see if I am one of those MANIC personalities with my next comment "No- in fact quite the contrary. I used to have trouble Staying awake so much that it was suggested at one point I could have narcolepsy!"
I then told of the co-workers bets as to what time I would fall asleep during the Clinical training those first weeks of AUTISTIC SERVICES and how I had to SERIOUSLY redeem myself after dozing off EVERY DAY when sedentary after lunch during the training lectures. I told him how I also fell asleep after lunch whenever I had a 1:30pm class and it just seems to be a biorhythm thing I have but that if ACTIVE I am more alert. (THough I did struggle when having to DRIVE that time of day at one point to get to my job at PEOPLE INC when my shift changed from beginning at 3pm to 2pm! I pulled over to avoid falling asleep at the wheel and napped and was then late for work! BUT I HAD TO DO THAT!)
I told him it might be ADD related as there is some evidence that when sedentary those with ADD have lower glucose in the brain and have trouble staying awake. There is indeed a link between that and some ADD being ADHD- maybe as if they were not hyper they'd be sleeping and not functional at all!
Then the next QUOTABLE:
"I DON'T THINK YOUR ADD"
HA HA HA HA!!!
That was in response to me mentioning that during the mortifying sleeping on my FIRST post college full time job I TRIED to drink Coffee for the first time and I commented that I literally FELT as I was ultra sensitive to it and I could feel this weird sensation in all my nerve endings! But you see either he interupped me about not thinking I am ADD, or I forgot where I was going with that comment (Which was to lead up to the fact that the coffee didn't keep me awake but made me feel like CRAP and then I still SUDDENLY dropped off to sleep uncontrollably despite fighting it!)
I REALLY DON't have that sleep problem WHEN PHYSICALLY ACTIVE! IT is really weird!
Oh so the counselor talked about how the quickest way to find out if someone is ADD is to give them a cup of coffee at 11pm. MOST people will have trouble sleeping, but it will put an ADD person right to sleep. I told him "I know all about that.I've done alot of reading on ADD"
What I didn't mention was that before I ever read that WESTLEY told me caffine just knocks him out and makes him sleepy at night. When we first dated I was surprised he wanted coffee at bedtime! It really does calm him down! When I later read it he said "I told you"
In any case, I TRULY think that it is just SO HARD for people to accept HIGH ENERGY people without wondering what the hell is WRONG with us! I AM HIGH ENERGY most of the time. I SWEAR HALF of it is THAT I AM INTERNALLY THE HAPPIEST PERSON I KNOW, and I think that translates into MORE ENERGIZED.
So the whole line of questioning was really amusing to me in a way.
Then in a way I think this dude is onto something about two seemingly polar aspects of my personality that do actually co-exist. I am a blend of conservative in some ways, and very open minded and a bit of a risk taking, creative personality in other ways. My favorite TV shows as a teenager are telling in this regard-
Hmmmm.... I was the girl knicknamed "Laura" at my job at Waldbaums as I never wore jeans and only wore long prarie, Laura Ingalls like skirts that I mostly sewed myself. (Because they were more comfortable, practical as they did make me look more serious and older and after all at age 15 I was the night Front End Manager oblivious of the labor law violation who was the supervisor of a group of seniors and teenage cashiers, and because they were CHEAPER than buying clothing and I wanted to save EVERY hard earned dime to have a CHOICE of where I was going to college!
Oh- that's another thing this counselor seemed to not understand. He seemed to be critical of my parents who allowed me to work so much rather than study. I feel like in my situation that freedom to do that was indeed a gift. I recently saw a show on LEARNING DISABLED thanks to my friend Bettina who hosted it (as I never would take the time to watch adult self help TV otherwise!) Boy do I meet the criterion! I don't know if ADD is in that category of if there is something else that makes learning a bit SLOWER for me. I am most definately a SHARP, VERY INTELLIGENT person in some ways... but have challenges in others. Little things like spelling the same word a myraid of ways and other signs were listed and I meet many of those criteria I never really thought about before! AMAZING to be AGE 36 and to first figure these things out. I RECALL however when I first talked to my mom about ADD she seemed to indicate her AWARENESS of my academic issues, but expressed the belief that she thought kids would do better if NOT LABELED. SO I don't want to UNDERESTIMATE my parents in their handling of those educational concern. I don't want to ASSUME they let me work to a detriment of school.... They did after all get me HANDS DOWN into THE BEST parochial school perhaps in all of LONG ISLAND. I mean the top kids at my HS went on to YALE and HARVARD and the list of full scholarships was LONG. At the lunch table the SAT scores were all in the mid 1300s or higher... then there was my score not nearly in that range but just a little above the national avg. I mean had I NOT had the pride and achievement of work I likely would have STILL graduated with my rank of 179 out of 180 students!! SERIOUSLY!! I remember the conference with the BIO teacher, the little old nun who instilled fear into students who insisted on a conference with me and my parents and wanted me to bring my notebook. I said annoyed "OK I'll bring ALL OF THEM" and then when I showed up with THREE of them : hand written notes in class, re-written and re-organized into a shorter format in an attempt to STUDY and retain, and then my third TYPED NOTES with accompanying colored pencil drawings and illustrations SHE APOLOGIZED and started to cry!
AND I WAS REALLY TOUCHED. SHE CRIED at my TREMENDOUS EFFORT and LACK OF ACHIEVEMENT.
She apologized to me profusely. She said she had no idea I WAS WORKING SO HARD.Then I cried as I told her of my dream of having wanted to be a marine biologist that clearly wasn't going to be attainable to me as I just couldn't RETAIN basic biology.
My parents understood me more than I ever really gave them credit for.
When you have a disabilty sometimes its the honing of DETERMINATION and a work ethic and drive that are so strong that are THE BEST life skills you can develop.
I see this in WESTELY too HE is a workaholic.
HE and I both HAD TO BE in order to compensate. In college I became great friends of his sister out of INCREDIBLE ADMIRATION at how hard she worked at her studies. SHe was in the study hall on Friday nights. She was up studying at 8am on Saturday mornings. I admired her drive and never forget when I met her and complimented her and told her how much I admired her, one of the first things she said to me was "I have dyslexia. I HAVE NO CHOICE but to work this hard if I want to succeed."
It is so very odd to me to see others perplexed by ENERGY and ENTHUSIASM and PEOPLE who are constantly ACTIVE and working hard! I have heard this commented on before: from the nanny/old friend who I had with my EX for KAterina and Soren who one time commented about me that I was ALWAYS SO ACTIVE AND BUSY WORKING AT SOMETHING THAT IT WAS SCARY. My housemates after college also commented on my energy. One found it odd I energetically cleaned all the bathrooms of the house one night in an enthusiastic moment of inspiration to do so at something like 1am. (But hey- those were the days when I worked to 11pm, came home to eat, and was STILL UP at 1AM! I THOUGHT I was quiet enough to not disturb her! OOPS! But then I slept AT LEAST 8 hrs when done! )
The counselor clearly was trying to figure out if my SPIRIT was off kilter to the point of a label "mania" (He followed up with the silly sounding to me questions regarding the down cycles NONE OF which I EVER experienced but I ALSO recognized thanks to Bettina's episode on manic depression HA HA!!!)
Here's another great quote
To which I said "I never had any"
THOSE QUESTIONS WITH IMPLIED ASSUMPTIONS ARE MY FAVORITE!
I MEAN I REALLY NEVER GAVE A CRAP ABOUT FITTING IN WITH PEERS BECAUSE AT LEAST WHEN YOUNG I NEVER DID FIT IN! THAT CHANGED IN COLLEGE... BUT I LEARNED EARLY NOT TO MEASURE MY SENSE OF ESTEEM ON EXTERNAL THINGS/PEOPLE
So fundementally I wonder now: WHY WOULD I HAVE THAT ADAPTATION OF knowing my INTERNAL HAPPINESS is so much in my control?? IS THAT INDEED NORMAL?? IS IT NORMAL TO BE SO HAPPY and feeling so SELF ACTUALIZED even when my personal goals have been unattainable?
I think though that the difference of high energy and constant motion is due to a need to maintain that due to some other deficiency- either LD, or ADD or Dyslexia or something else which myself and some of my closest friends share.
But that TEMPERMENT of being happy all the time is a unique GIFT I have. And I find it STRANGE that what I see as indeed a marvelous gift, along with faith that was instilled and nurtured by my FATHER due to the UNCONDITIONAL LOVE AND SUPPORT AND ACCEPTANCE CAN BE VIEWED AS A LIBILTIY BY SOME
I SWEAR That HAPPINESS is interperted as me NOT HAVING A REAL CLEAR IMAGE of the REALITY of problems in my life ! I think it UNFATHOMABLE by some that I COULD have a realist's view of things AS THEY ARE-- but an OPTIMIST'S ACCEPTANCE OF WHAT HAS BEEN without bitterness, but a real willingness to assess things FOR NEEDED change, and a belief in continued growth and stregth of LOVE AND ACCEPTANCE.
Both my parents indeed tried to instill that positive attitude in me- but moreso my DAD as I never had a real breach of trust from him (wheras I did with my mother who has her own trust issues that affected our relationship: SHE often did minimize any trouble I had at school and ASSUMED I was exaggerating! I was hurt by her in that regard as she DIDN'T TRUST ME)
But in any case, I think there a strange IRONY that I am someone who is now in therapy: YES to work on very real issues, but also one who I think is being ASSESSED and EVALUATED BECAUSE I AM A TRULY HAPPY, AND SELF ACTUALIZED PERSON.
And that must be such a RARE thing indeed that when a person like me is MET we actually fall OUTSIDE OF THE NORM Of society: that by that very definition makes HAPPY SELF ACTUALIZED people DEVIANTS! SO WHAT WOULD THE DIAGNOSIS BE AN ACTUAL MENTAL ILLNESS BY THE DEFINITON OF BEING OUT OF THE NORM? THE MENTAL ILLNESS OF PERSONAL HAPPINESS???
I LAUGH AS I WRITE THIS-- but hey- I wonder if that will HAVE to be a Professional's conclusion if they apply the theory of Psycology to its actual logical end using the criterion of OUTIDE THE NORM
OH- but I guess I forgot to mention the other aspect OUTSIDE THE NORM and NOT FUNCTIONING IN THE NORM.
I have to mention that as a stay at home mom who has chosed to be DEPENDENT on my husband for the time being I ACTUALLY MEET THAT CRITERION in an odd way! (with full confidence and security in that decision as if I had to or chose to go back to work I estimate in three to six weeks I would be working full time in a decent job!I have a decent job and educational background and life skills...) I swear though that the court in Buffalo looks at me as a mom who is at home TRAPPED and they think of that as TRAGIC in some bizzare way. That message came through loud and clear: "Ms Blake you have tough choices to make"
YES like you WANT me to CHOOSE between my husband and my older two kids... hmmm
ANd you WANT me to have to choose between being a stay at home mom and going to work now
All those "TOUGH CHOICES" are ones they'd LIKE to compel me to make simply because they CAN'T FATHOM and ACCEPT the one's I have made ARE VIABLE ONES.
So my choice to be a stay at home mom to my four OTHER children, with an intact family with a spouse, is viewed as one that must be compelled to be changed BECAUSE THAT's WHAT THE OLDER TWO WOULD LIKE IN THEIR IDEAL WORLD
where there has never been ANOTHER man to be a FATHER to them because it makes them (or I should say they have been MADE to) feel GUILTY if they ACCEPT an ADDITIONAL FATHER FIGURE OTHER THAN THEIR DAD.
OK Back to the point: B/C in this day and post women's liberation AGE I have CHOSEN the path that women wanted to be FREED FROM BEING OBLIGATED AND FORCED to follow, I am seen as NOT REALLY FUNCTIONING IN THE WORLD.
And to be fair- its a honest assesment I FUNCTION IN MY FAMILY SYSTEM TO THE GREAT EXCLUSION OF THE REST OF THE WORLD AT THIS TIME.
YES our world had at one point extended to a larger community of school, and two scout communitys, and a music education community, and a church community, and my husband's work community where we developed friends and acquaintences, and family etc.., but now, in large part BECAUSE of the choice made to file a custody case and then the kids being taken from my home- I HAVE NO CONNECTIONS via school and the extra curricular community, we had to take a job and set up our lives so as to be prepared for ALL possible outcomes so that required logistical changes that affected my involvement in ALL OTHER COMMUNITIES that were not NATURALLY weakened when the kids were pulled away.
So it IS ABSOLUTELY TRUE, THAT DUE TO THE LITIGATION I AM NOW DISCONNECTED and VERY INSULAR.
NOT BY MY CHOICE, BUT AT THE SAME TIME I AM STILL VERY HAPPY WITH MY DAILY LIFE WITH LITTLE ONES AND BLESSED WITH THAT AND KNOW ALL THOSE OTHER TIES WILL FORM AGAIN WHEREVER WE ARE. FUNDEMENTALLY THEY ENHANCE MY LIFE BUT I AM NOT DEFINED BY ANY ONE OF THOSE EXTERNAL THINGS
So the strangest irony of all : By virtue of this gift of being a stay at home mom, by virtue of logistics of going back and forth between our home in VA and here in NY, by virtue of not having any discretionary spending as whatever I can attain goes toward the first priority of legal fees, I AM NOT ONE WHO FUNCTIONS OUTSIDE OF MY FAMILY OFTEN NOW, and I AM ONE WHO BEING HAPPY WITH THIS IS AN ANOMOLY THAT FALLS OUT OF THE NORM.
DOES THAT MAKE ME CRAZY? That in conjunction with my personality and temperment of BEING HAPPY being so truly RARE?
I think the court looks at me as if it does! SO BIZZARE to me!